Hound finally comes out of beta with new tricks from Yelp and Uber
There are loud voices in the voice assistants category, but what does it take to make one pop out to you from nowhere for you to take the effort to download? After all, the one you already have on your phone works just fine for you, thanks much.
The officially published version is available on the Play Store and on the App Store. It allows users to ask such questions as “find me Asian restaurants within 10 miles excluding Japanese and Korean restaurants and listed by star rating” or “how much would I pay on a $200,000 loan if the interest rate were 6.75 percent?” Hound would pick up some particular queries, too — “How much is the down payment?” And yes, it can recognize music (SoundHound!) and play blackjack with you (for some reason).
The voice assistant is part of the SoundHound’s wider effort to help other software companies integrate its Houndify language processing into their own apps, but it seems like some major developments have gone the other way around: Yelp and Uber have offered up their APIs to Hound for one-tap access to inquiring about cheap Thai restaurants and about getting a ride there. Yelp queries go through a call-and-answer session to determine what results to include and exclude while Uber conversations allow the user to verbally dictate pick-up and drop-off locations.
If we get enough feedback, we’ll consider doing a follow-up voice assistants comparison this year.